Site description (2000 baseline):

Site location and context
A reserve on the heavily-eroded slopes of the Bozdag ridge, in the southern foothills of the Great Caucasus. The principal habitats are steppe and sparse, arid forest mainly of Juniperus with Pistacia and, less so, Quercus. A small patch of tugai forest along Turianchai river of Alnus, Salix, Populus, etc.

Key biodiversity
At least 112 species recorded, with c.60 passerines. Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aegypius monachus, Aquila heliaca, Falco naumanni (status uncertain, perhaps only on passage). Among other raptors in the best area for birds of prey in Azerbaijan are: Gypaetus barbatus, Neophron percnopterus, Gyps fulvus, Circaetus gallicus, Aquila pomarina, A. clanga (passage only), Hieraaetus fasciatus (pair in April 1991). Merops superciliosus, Coracias garrulus and Emberiza melanocephala also occur and huge numbers of Turdus thrushes winter in the reserve when there is a good Juniperus berry crop.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Lack of natural regeneration in the arid, sparse forests results from earlier overgrazing. The situation has improved since the reserve was established in 1958 and erosion has been reduced. Return to the reserve of the 16,000 ha (i.e. part of Gekchai Bozdag, IBA 011) lost in 1961 is considered essential for the better protection of Azerbaijan's arid landscapes.

Protected areas
National High International None12,600 ha of IBA covered by Zapovednik (Turianchai goryhy, 12,600 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Turianchai. Downloaded from on 03/10/2023.